engage your senses

A rich heritage of growth

For over 250 years, the long journey to the modern day international flavour and fragrance industry is punctuated by ground-breaking milestones that lead to Givaudan. From our historic roots in Grasse in 1768 to the acquisition of Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings in 2016, Givaudan has pursued an historic policy of invention and acquisition, of creativity, passion and innovation, always with an eye to the future, enriching the world of scents and taste.

1768

Exploring new worlds

Captain James Cook leaves England to explore the new world. Meanwhile in Grasse, France, Antoine de Chiris undertakes a new venture: harvesting flora and fauna, turning them into raw ingredients for perfumery – taking the very first steps into a new world of fragrances.

1796

New York, New York

A time of great discovery, the late 1700s sees the industrial revolution steaming ahead, with advances in commerce, mathematics and medicine. In New York, Ernest Guenther, who greatly advances the art of perfumery with his seminal work ‘The Essential Oils’, is employed by Fritsche, Dodge and Olcott of New York, founded in the 18th Century, and acquired by Givaudan in 1991.

1820

A great Roure

A young Charles Darwin sets out on his voyage on the HMS Beagle, the first step towards discovering the evolution of species. Meanwhile in Grasse, Claude Roure successfully evolves the fragrance industry, establishing Roure-Bertrand & Fils, which provides aromatic plants and essential oils, such as jasmine and rose. Roure eventually merges with Givaudan in 1991.

1862

Greater flavours

In America, President Lincoln launches the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Chemistry, the predecessor of the Food and Drug Administration. Over in Dortmund, Germany, food and chemistry combine as the company Kurt Oestereich and Westfälische Essenzenfabrik is founded, the forerunner of Riedel Arom, a flavours company acquired by Givaudan in 1989.

1895

Enter Givaudan

Physicist, Wilhelm Roentgen makes a breakthrough discovery, when he invents X-Rays. A milestone moment in the history of fragrances is also recorded when Léon (left) and Xavier Givaudan found Givaudan in Switzerland, a journey that is rich, passionate and full of artistry, creating our DNA, which continues today.

1900

Absolutely modern

The great World Fair in Paris takes place in 1900, heralding an age of modern invention and advancement. At the same time Roure’s work into ‘Absolutes’ – a concentrated oily mixture – represents a major advancement for the perfume industry.

1900-1950

Pioneering synthetics

The first half of the 20th Century sees synthetic materials come to prominence, with nylon invented in 1937 by Wallace Carothers. During the same period, the commercialisation of synthetic fragrance ingredients is pioneered by Givaudan and others, driving opportunities to expand our palette and advance technological breakthroughs in the realm of aroma.

1900-1950

Clean and fragrant

As the fragrance industry begins to open up into everyday products, Givaudan is one of the first companies to promote the use of fragrances in cosmetics and soaps.

1937

A shocking first

The world benefits from a wide-range of inventions in 1937, including the introduction of the first ever hand-held vacuum cleaner. However, offering much more glamour to the women of the world was the invention of ‘Shocking’ the world’s very first designer fragrance, created by talented perfumers from Roure Bertrand, later to become part of Givaudan.

1946

An education in perfumery

As the dust settles on the Second World War, and a new era of hope opens up for the world, Roure Perfumer Jean Carles establishes our world-renowned Perfumery School, which today operates on the outskirts of Paris.

1949-1955

Latin expansions

Globalisation begins to gather pace, and in the late forties and early fifties, Givaudan enters Latin America, which quickly becomes established as a growth region for exciting new flavours and fragrances.

1948-1980

Flavours too

1948 sees McDonalds founded, revolutionising the fast food industry. Meanwhile, Givaudan acquires Esrolko SA, a company founded by Abraham Schwarz in Dübendorf, Zurich, which remains a significant flavours production site for the Company.

1995

Into Asia

As China continues to open up its economy and Hong Kong gets ready to revert from British rule back to Chinese sovereignty, Givaudan becomes the first flavour and fragrance company to significantly invest in facilities in Asia, expanding across the continent, responding to the needs of high-growth markets.

1996

Trekking for scents

DVDs are first released in Japan in 1996, and Givaudan-Roure too has its own technology moment, winning its first Fragrance Foundations FiFi® Technological Breakthrough Award for ScentTrek®, which successfully captures the scents of plants and flowers in their natural habitat.

1997

Biggest flavours company

In 1997, 50 of the world’s top 100 economies turn out to be run by corporations. Givaudan also strikes a landmark corporate moment in 1997, acquiring Tastemaker, a US flavours company, making Givaudan-Roure the world’s largest flavours organisation.

1998

Scent creation science

In 1998 internet usage begins to gather pace, with the first blog (weblog) appearing. In the same year, Our Virtual Aroma Synthesizer®, a computer-based system that creates a scent composition in real time, is developed – it eventually wins the Fragrance Foundations FiFi® Technological Breakthrough of the Year Award in 2001.

1999

Discovering new tastes

1999 is a good year for discovery, with scientists finding organisms in rocks dated 2.7 billion years old, putting back the existence of complex organisms by 1 billion years. Givaudan also launches its own discovery programme in 1999, with TasteTrek®, which endeavours to explore for new flavours across the world, pushing the boundaries of flavour expectations.

2000

Swiss public listing

Just one year after Europe introduces the Euro, Givaudan makes its own financial statement, as Givaudan SA is listed on the Six Swiss Exchange, signalling a drive to market leadership.

2002

A forum for excellence

2002 sees the ‘World's 50 Best Restaurants List’ launched. The list will later include chefs from Givaudan Chef’s Council, which brings together some of the world’s most celebrated chefs and restaurant owners, as a catalyst for innovation.

2005

Health and wellness

In 2005, more and more countries begin to make the health and wellness of their populations a priority, introducing legislation in this area. Givaudan captures the flavour of the times, developing competitive breakthroughs in taste technology, which allow for the creation of foods and beverages that are greatly reduced in sugar, salt and fat, without compromising taste.

2003-2007

Rich in flavours

In 2002, FIS, the flavour division of Nestlé is acquired. In 2003, we purchase IBF, a US fermentation technology company. Acquiring Quest International, in 2007, extends Givaudan’s reach to become the undisputed leader in the flavour and fragrance industry.

2014

Cosmetic changes

Givaudan’s appetite for enriching our fragrances offer is met by the acquisition of Soliance, an ethical company with eco-design products whose strength lies in the sustainable development of active cosmetic ingredients, derived from vegetable sources, microorganisms and microalgae.

2015

Growing in cosmetics

Givaudan continues its progression into the active cosmetic ingredients business by acquiring Induchem Holding AG and its subsidiaries. Induchem’s portfolio of products is based on a wide range of innovative and highly functional active ingredients with proven efficacy results, as well as research expertise in fields such as biocatalysis, metagenomics, and biochemical synthesis.

2016

Acquisition, innovation and anniversaries

It’s a year of birthdays as Givaudan marks 10 years of ethical sourcing, the 10th anniversary of TasteTrek® Citrus and the 70th anniversary of the Givaudan Perfumery School. A new Flavour Innovation Centre opens in Singapore and Givaudan breaks ground on an ambitious Innovation Centre in Kemptthal, Switzerland. The acquisition of Spicetec (ConAgra foods) deepens our savoury solutions.